Chapter 2: Tears in Heaven

In a place far from her home, a woman stood motionless, her beautiful emerald eyes fixed rigidly on a distant scene, yet unfocused and dull. A solitary tear slid silently down her delicate porcelain skin, unnoticed and insignificant. Strands of copper had escaped her gently falling ringlets, only to be caught by the steady stream of tears descending swiftly now towards the ground. Lily stirred; her shoulders jolted, protesting angrily at the slight movement. Her long pale fingers brushed her cheek briskly, wiping away any trace of sadness. She knew that there was nothing more that she could do, but the knowledge did nothing to numb the pain. She did not belong here.

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Will it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
I must be strong, and carry on
Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven

Lily ignored the rustling sound that the linen folds of her long white dress made. Material worth had no value where she was. Her mind, once a tangled web of truths, lies and ideals, was now organised and focused; only the important memories remained. The memories that lingered were not all happy - far from it. Those few that did not hold simple images of her son held regrets; unfulfilled promises and misunderstandings that she now wished so hard to be able to fix.

Blinking as her eyes slid into focus for the first time in death, Lily surveyed the scene that fate had chosen for her to view - her last glimpse of earth as she had known it, and would ever know it. She watched the lonely actions of someone who she had not spoken to for a very long time - someone she had never wanted to see again. She wondered, would he know her name, if he saw her in heaven? Now, beyond the reach of his waiting ears, his name slipped off her tongue like silk, a desperate plea. Severus, please...

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven
I'll find my way, through night and day
Cause I know I just can't stay
Here in heaven

Her heart throbbed painfully in her chest, constricting her breathing as she lunged forward, frantically grasping for life, feeling it slipping away from her fingers as it had so gracefully only a few hours before. Eventually, after several minutes of pointless fighting with the clouds, Lily gave in, surrendering to the knowledge that she would never see her son again, never see the sparkle in his eyes, never hear his first word.

Yet it was not these thoughts that hurt the most. What hurt the most was being so close to her best friend, so close to mending the relationship they both had ruined, the start of many years of regret; yet so far away. The tears fell faster. He had been her rock, her saviour, her friend...

Time can bring you down
Time can bend your knee
Time can break your heart
Have you begging please
Begging please

*Flashback*

Lily swung backwards and forwards, enjoying the few moments of peace that the weekly trips to the local swings afforded her. It was quality time to spend with her sister, the one person she loved more than the earth. Lately though, her sister did not seem to enjoy the trips. Lily had had to beg her to come this time. Realising that her expression had dulled, she forced the smile back on her face, and with a great shout of laughter, she flew, quite literally, off the swing and onto the course dry land below. Her sister's shriek of 'Lily, don't do it!' failed to register - she just wanted to impress her, to show Tuney it was worth spending time with her after all.

Lily picked up a flower, willing it to magically open and close in her slender fingertips. She did not notice that her actions were being witnessed. Her sister's scream bringing her firmly back down to earth, Lily finally saw the scrawny young boy that had been watching her from behind a bush on the far side of the park. His limp, greasy hair was far too long, she decided, and his clothes didn't fit him.

Even his gaze was somewhat unsettling. Ignoring him, she turned her attention back to her sister. There was a definite longing in Petunia's voice as she questioned Lily:

"How do you do it?"

Lily did not have chance to answer; the watching boy had evidently decided to come out at last.

"It's obvious, isn't it?"

Lily looked scornfully at the boy, her brow furrowing with frustration and unease.

"What's obvious?"

The answer to her query changed her life.

"You're...you're a witch".

She had not believed him, at first. She had listened warily as her sister had launched into an in depth description of the boy. Snape ... Lily replayed the name several times in her head - it had a nice ring to it, she decided, an air of mystery. A friendship was born.

*End of Flashback*

From that day onwards, Lily's relationship with her sister began to fail. She clung to Severus like a lifeline over the next few years, knowing even when he called her that word that it was merely a slip of the tongue. At least, that was what she wanted to believe.

Beyond the door
There's peace I'm sure.
And I know there'll be no more...
Tears in heaven

Presently, Lily pulled out of the memory, savouring the peace that radiated from the swirling wisps of ivory cloud encompassing her. She narrowed her bright eyes once more, blanking out the blinding sunlight, and tried to make out the graveyard below. After a moment, she recognised it to be the church at Godric's Hollow. Severus was now sitting by a headstone of white marble; one that Lily was sure had not been there before. He was talking to it, Lily thought, mouthing the words newly inscribed on its surface.

James Potter, born 27 March 1960, died 31 October 1981
Lily Potter, born 30 January 1960, died 31 October 1981
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

With a surge of realisation, all became suddenly clear. The mystery solved, Lily stared unbelievingly at the stone. Her heart beat wildly in her chest - strange, she thought, considering it no longer had a purpose - and her breath came in short gasps, each one a release of emotion. She found that she could not speak, it couldn't be hers...

No. No, no, no. It couldn't be. Not James as well. Who would look after Harry? Lily let out a breath she had not realised she had been holding. Of course. Sirius. And failing that...

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Will it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
I must be strong, and carry on
Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven

Severus. Knowing and accepting that she could not tell him head to head, Lily Potter made the decision to let it be. Moreover, if she could not tell Severus the normal way... she may have lost her voice but she and her Severus still shared one thing, one simple method of communication - their dreams.

As Severus Snape slept that night, a voice disturbed his dreams. Its tone swept melodically around the room, sweet syllables sounding in his waiting ears. Look after Harry, Lily whispered. It will all be worth it in the end, Sev. After all, the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

She loved him, she lost him, and she never let go. Until now.

As the clouds began to tinge scarlet with the dying sun, the woman turned and began to walk away from her friend, her copper curls shining beautifully in the twilight. With one last, sad glance at the white marble headstone, she disappeared into the wondrous glare of the heavens, to be with her husband once more. And there she would wait forevermore, for her Severus.

Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven


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